- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; 1 Reprint edition (27 Aug. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416597891
- ISBN-13: 978-1416597896
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Once a Runner: A Novel Paperback – 27 Aug 2015
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“Part training manual, part religious tract, part love story, and all about running, Once a Runner is so inspiring it could be banned as a performance-enhancing drug.” —Benjamin Cheever, author of Strides
“By far the most accurate fictional portrayal of the world of the serious runner…a marvelous description of the way it really is.” —Kenny Moore, Sports Illustrated
“The best piece of running fiction around. Beg, borrow, or buy a copy, and you’ll never need another motivator.” —Dave Langlais, Runner’s World
"The best novel ever written about running."--Runner's World
About the Author
John L. Parker, Jr. has written for Outside, Runner’s World, and numerous other publications. He was the Southeastern Conference mile champion three times, and the United States Track and Field Federation national champion in the steeplechase, and was the teammate of Olympians Frank Shorter, Jack Bacheler, and Jeff Galloway on several championship cross-country teams. A graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism as well as its College of Law, Parker has been a practicing attorney, a newspaper reporter and columnist, a speechwriter for then Governor Bob Graham, and editorial director of Running Times magazine. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, and Bar Harbor, Maine.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Read this book...you'll be forever
changed. It describes a fictitious collegiate
track program with some very colorful
characters. Their tales and traumas
boil down the essence of running.
The story follows a university student (Quenton Cassidy) and his running team mates through a period of heavy training during which they are embroiled in a sporting controversy which leads to Cassidy being sidelined on the track just when the world mile record holder is going to be competing at a local meet. Can he get himself readmitted onto the track and if not will he miss this date with destiny? Sorry for being a little vague here- but I think giving away too much of the plot will ruin the story.
The story is sold in certain quarters at "part training manual...religious tract...love story," so let me say at this juncture that if you want a training manual read 'The Lore of Running', if you want a religious tract try an actual Holy Text; as for love story...I'm not sure that a character actually explicitly expresses love or ardour at any point in the book! It's all about running...and if you like running you will probably enjoy it.
But it does have quite a few weaknesses. The central characters are very weakly pencilled in and I found it hard to sympathise with Cassidy for much of the book- we don't learn about his background and near death experience until we are almost 3/4 of the way through the book. As a a result its hard to really care about what happens to him.Read more ›
John Parker has outdone all others when it comes to writing about running. I only wish it were longer!
I gave up at page 142 and the book now resides in a charity shop along with the sequel 'Again To Carthage' which I - unfortunately - purchased at the same time.
I'm a runner and there was only 1 chapter about training that had me gripped, I simply don't understand where the rave reviews come from as I simply found it dull and boring at times but with just enough to keep me reading. There are snippets of humor and times when you dive into the mind of someone that puts everything on the line, but then just as it gets going it drops a mile at easy pace to keep you from going out too fast.
My wife picked it up and tried to read it too, she isnt a runner but has read my running books like "Running with the Kenyans" and "Born to Run" and enjoyed them, this one she put down after 50 pages.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There are phases of this which are good, some of the humour, some of the running and training descriptions. Read morePublished 10 months ago by R
One for serious runners. Takes a while to get going and isn't the best written from a literary point of view but you feel you're right there reading it. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
Although this was written almost 40 years ago, when training was maybe not quite so sophisticated, this is an enjoyable tale of one man's quest to be the best. Read morePublished 15 months ago by John Burton
Great book, but be warned it is probably only for those who are or have been serious competitive runners of a decent standard (from 36min 10K up to Olympic level). Read morePublished 16 months ago by drbarx